CHP report on Henry Noto DUI arrest

A local attorney who specializes in DUI cases was arrested earlier this month for his third alleged DUI offense in six years after he crashed into another vehicle, severely injuring the driver.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Henry Noto, 62, was driving northbound on Interstate 5 and was exiting at Highway 43 at around 10:35 p.m. when he failed to stop at a stop sign and struck a vehicle operated by a correctional officer who was heading northbound on Highway 43.

The collision pushed the correctional officer's vehicle into the southbound lanes and caused it to be hit by another vehicle heading south on Highway 43. The correctional officer, 26-year-old David Perez, sustained major injuries due to the crash and was taken to Kern Medical Center for treatment, the department said.

When CHP officers arrived at the scene, they noticed that Noto appeared to be under the influence and was arrested on suspicion of a felony DUI causing injury, the CHP said. He has since posted bond and has been released. No information on his blood-alcohol level was provided.

Noto and a female passenger, Heather Rush, 31, in his vehicle also sustained major injuries and were taken to the hospital. The driver of the third involved vehicle, 32-year-old Lucus Cotter, had moderate injuries but declined treatment, according to the CHP.

While Noto’s previous two DUI convictions were misdemeanors, this time he is facing a felony, which could mean prison time.

Noto's first DUI arrest happened in October 2013 and the second in October 2016, according to court documents.

In the first incident, police stopped Noto after he ran through a red signal light in the 1700 block of Truxtun Ave. He was found to be displaying symptoms of intoxication, including red eyes, slurred speech and unusual movement.

No information was provided on what his blood-alcohol level was, only that it was above the 0.08 legal limit. He was convicted in March 2014 after pleading no contest and sentenced to four days in jail, three years probation and a fine of nearly $2,000. He only served two days in jail based on good behavior, according to the Kern County Superior Court.

In the second incident, police arrested Noto after it was reported that a person was sleeping in the driver’s seat of a vehicle that was in the middle of the road in the 200 block of V St.

Court documents say the vehicle was running and still in drive, with Noto’s foot on the brake, when officers arrived.

After waking up Noto, police asked if he'd had anything to drink and Noto allegedly said he had had three cranberry and vodkas.

Noto was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.35 percent, far exceeding the legal limit, according to the court documents. Noto was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence, and was convicted after pleading no contest and sentenced to 30 days in jail, according to the Superior Court. He was also fined around $2,000.

Joseph Luiz can be reached at 395-7368 or by email at jluiz@bakersfield.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JLuiz_TBC. 

(7) comments

Anonymously speaking

I'm sorry but you defending "your friend" who not only knows better and works in a profession defending others caught in the same capacity but this is his third DUI arrest in only 6 years!?! Are you kidding me?? Yes, it's sad he lost his wife in 2017 but his first 2 DUI's happened prior to the loss of his wife so those clearly couldn't be the excuses. It's not so much the fact that this person has been caught for the third time driving under the influence (although 3 times sounds extremely excessive in my opinion) The fact that this guy is a DUI Attorney, makes it just that much more rediculous! We all have had hard times and endured the agony of losing a loved one but you don't see all of us getting busted for multiple DUI's. If you've got a problem with substance or alcohol abuse, get treatment! If anything, rather than this guy be given a slap on the wrist, personally I think this irresponsible dumb a** should be held more accountable and to a higher standard being that he specializes in this particular field.

barbara meuleman-girga

Why do we let them off for good behavior...two days. Give me a break like you would give him. Third time and creates major injuries. He knows the laws and flaunts them. Now he will use his knowledge to get a shortened sentence and be back drinking and driving again. Punish him like it would be my relative ... don't let him out again until he gets treatment and doesn't kill someone on the road.

amtfor attorneys

Really Really how many chances do you give someone since he's an Attorney a drunk one like alot that I see and rip the poor people off in the court house with there Im not ready will if the attorney isn't ready then u dont get to charge the customer for that day that rule needs to be changed . We need new lawyers and judges rules have to change

barbara meuleman-girga

How true. He knows the rules/laws as he works with them everyday, so he will use these to get the least amount of consequences and be back out there, maybe killing someone the next time. NO ONE is above the law, be it a cop, a lawyer or anyone else.

aSimpleDude

I know this man, and both of you commenting above sound really ****ing stupid.

His wife passed away in OCT of 2017, which was a devastating blow to the family. Clearly, he has not handled it very well. But this is not a man who thinks he is above the law, I can promise you that. Henry is a good man, and my sincerest sympathies go out to him and his two daughters.

Perhaps before we judge others in this life, we should recognize that there are items we simply aren't privy to, and that things aren't always as they seem.

Get well soon, Henry. My thoughts are with you.

Nevermind

Right because holding him accountable is stupid. This is like a drug counselor busted for using meth. Sure, the counselor has some problems, so does everyone else. You don't have to climb behind the wheel to drown your sorrows. Do it on your couch or call a taxi from the bar. The only one that sounds stupid is you. If you truly care about the indvidual and you know him well, try to get him help. For all you know the people you are calling stupid lost loved ones to "good" people too.
I'll be curious to see what the penalty is after the Giumarra miscarriage of justice. It's all about who you know here and they don't even make any pretenses about it.

Anonymously speaking

[thumbup] totally agree with you!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.